O'Neill was part of a resurgent Rapids back four this season that nearly set defensive records for the team. The other nominees for the award:
Shaquell Moore, a young right back who is currently working his way through the United States system, most recently playing as the US U-18 captain.
Erik Palmer-Brown, a center back who signed as a homegrown player with Eastern conference semi-finalists Sporting Kansas City this season.
Wil Trapp, a midfielder who has started to get a good chunk of minutes with his hometown Columbus Crew this season.